Cool-season grasses are best seeded in early September. Seeds germinate and grow rapidly in the warm soil with time to become well established before winter. But, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for.

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High Qualty Grass Seed - Worth the Extra Cost

The important part, when you buy grass seed for your yard, is that the old motto holds true – “you get what you pay for.” Higher quality seed will have better quality varieties, will be more free of weed seeds, and more free of “other crop” seeds. Not everyone realizes what that “other crop” weed seed or “other crop seed percentage” could be.

When we’re looking at a bag of tall fescue, for example, that percentage of “other crops” seed could be kentucky bluegrass, or rough bluegrass which is a common weed we deal with in Kansas. It’s a grass that’s grown for lawns in other parts of the country, but in Kansas we deal with it as a weed. So, it’s listed on the label as “percentage other crop.” So we need to look at that “percentage other crop”, and we need to look at that “percent weed seed” and make sure that they’re zero or as close to zero as possible.

Here we can see that there are several varieties of tall fescue listed on this label. The other thing that is important to see is the percentage of “other crop”. And we see this percentage of “other crop” is zero percent. And that percentage of “other crop” seed could be other kentucky bluegrass, it could be creeping bent grass – it could be any other host of turf grass seeds. When we’re buying a bag of tall fescue, we want to have tall fescue, and not other turf grasses in that bag.

The other two important things to look at on the seed label, is the percentage of weed seed. We can see this has zero percent weed seed, and no noxious weed seeds in the bag. Typically, bags that have zero percent “weed seed” and zero percent “other crop” seed are held to higher standards, and they’re going to cost more. Again, it goes back to what I said earlier, you get what you pay for.

This feature story prepared with Rodney St.John, former Kansas State University Research and Extension, Turfgrass Specialist. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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